February 19, 2009

Softball Picked 12th in Northeast-10 Preseason Poll

NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The Merrimack softball team has been picked to finish 12th in the Northeast-10 Preseason poll.

Northeast-10 Preseason Poll
 
1 - Le Moyne (11) - 219
2 - UMass Lowell (2) - 204
3 - New Haven (1) - 191
4 - So. Connecticut (1) - 170
5 - Pace - 140
6 - Stonehill - 139
7 - Southern NH - 135
8 - Saint Rose - 98
9 - Saint Anselm - 97
10 - American Int'l - 96
11 - Bentley - 95
12 - Merrimack - 89
13 - Assumption - 68
14 - Franklin Pierce - 30
15 - Saint Michael's - 29

Led by 2008 Northeast-10 All-Conference selection Jill Richards (Bucksport, ME), the Warriors finished 13th in the NE-10 with a 9-27 overall record, 9-19 in conference. Merrimack returns its leading hitter in Kelsey Ellis (Vancouver, BC), who hit a team high .374 with 14 steals as a freshman and its leading pitcher in Jill Gagnon (Manchester, NH), who posted 3.35 ERA and six complete games in 71 innings.

The reigning conference champion Le Moyne was picked to finish first with 219 total votes and 11 of 15 first-place votes. UMass Lowell was second, earning two first-place votes, while New Haven and Southern Connecticut rounded out the top four with one first-place vote each. Pace, Stonehill, Southern New Hampshire and Saint Rose make up the fifth through eighth seeds respectively.

Merrimack earned 89 total votes, six fewer than 11th place Bentley.

The Warriors open their season with 12 games at the Softball National Training Center in Clermont, Florida beginning with a doubleheader on March 15 against St. Thomas Aquinas and Franklin Pierce.

Merrimack’s home opener is slated for March 25 against Saint Michael’s.